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Ukrainian tennis star Dayana Yastremska is on the defensive.
The 20-year-old issued a response Thursday night after being slammed for posting images of her in what many considered blackface.
Yastremska, though, clearly did not think so.
“Earlier today I posted pictures that I thought would spread a message of equality,” she posted to her various social media accounts after deleting the original post in which she posed topless with half her body painted black, captioned “Equality” and posted earlier in the day. “It clearly did not and has been misunderstood.
“I have been warned about the negative impact but I did not — and still don’t — consider it as blackface.
“I did not intend to caricature but to share my feelings about the current situation: we should all be treated as equal.
“I am so disappointed that my message has been corrupted: these pictures divided people when they were meant to unite. That’s why I deleted them.
“I sincerely apologise to all the people I have offended. I truly had only good intentions.”
Yastremska, ranked No. 25 in the world, was quickly called out by a number of fans, imploring her to remove the pictorial post.
“Girl I know you didn’t just do blackface,” a fan page for No. 10 Naomi Osaka wrote, alongside a skull emoji.